Skip to content
Back Back to Insurance menu Go to Insurance
Back Back to Holidays menu Go to Holidays
Back Back to Saga Magazine menu Go to Magazine
Search Magazine

Feverfew: uses, dosage & background

Siski Green / 01 June 2020

The leaves of feverfew have been historically used for the therapy of fever and more recently migraine headaches. And, as its common name suggests, it was once popular for reducing fever

Feverfew leaves can help reduce fever and alleviate migraine symptoms

As the name suggests this pretty daisy-like plant is known for its fever-reducing properties. It grows in central and southern Europe and is also known as featherfoil, midsummer daisy or wild chamomile.

What is evening feverfew used for?

Fevers aren’t the only thing this plant can treat, it’s also used for headaches, migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, stomach aches, tooth ache, and also hormonal issues such as menstrual pain.

What’s the history of feverfew?

It’s known as the medieval aspirin, as it was used then to treat those suffering with fever. It was also thought to purify the air and prevent diseases of all kinds.

What’s the best way to take feverfew?

Research suggests that a supplement of 100-300mg one to four times a day may help relieve symptoms associated with migraines. When taking a feverfew supplement look for 0.2-0.4% parthenolide as this is the substance believed to have a significant effect.

Feverfew is also available in tea form, as well as tinctures and extracts. Drinking the tea a few times a day may or may not trigger any significant effects but it is unlikely to cause any unwanted side effects. Tinctures and extracts should be used with care as they may contain high levels of parthenolide – check the label and if unsure see your doctor before taking anything.

Does feverfew really work?

The feverfew plant contains flavanoids (glycosides, which are often used to treat heart disease, and pinenes), and volatile oils, along with parthenolide, which has anti-inflammatory properties.

Laboratory studies show that feverfew has an impact on prostaglandins, which are involved in inflammation, and that parthenolide, found in feverfew, helps inhibit serotonin receptors and prevents blood vessels in the brain from widening. It’s thought that these aspects could be how feverfew has a beneficial impact on migraine symptoms, for example. Some studies have shown that feverfew has a slightly greater benefit for the treatment of migraine compared to a placebo. While the benefits may be minimal, there are low risks associated with taking feverfew.

There is also research to suggest feverfew shows anti-carcinogenic properties, pain relief for those with arthritis.

Where can I get feverfew?

Feverfew is available online and in healthfood stores in the form of supplements and tea.

How long does feverfew take to work?

For treating migraines, expect to see any possible changes within one to two weeks, up to 6 weeks.

What are the side effects of taking feverfew?

Although there are few reported side effects when taking feverfew there has been little research on the long-term effects. Some reports include stomach aches, diarrhoea, nausea, tiredness and changes to the menstrual cycle.

Are there any contraindications when taking feverfew?

Some individuals who are allergic to plants in the daisy family may also have an allergic reaction to feverfew. Consult your doctor if you are taking any medications relating to hormones or blood thinning/clotting as feverfew may have an interaction with those.

Want to talk to a GP today? With Saga Health Insurance, you have unlimited access to a qualified GP 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Find out more about our GP phone service.


Saga Magazine is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site or newsletter, we may earn affiliate commission. Everything we recommend is independently chosen irrespective of affiliate agreements.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.